Members of the military and their spouses have special considerations when they are going through a divorce. This is especially true for people who have had lengthy marriages. The military uses a standard known as the 20/20/20 standard to determine if the spouse of a military member is entitled to benefits after a divorce.
What is the 20/20/20 standard?
The 20/20/20 standard means that the military member and his or her spouse have been married for at least 20 years, the military member has served at least 20 years, and at least 20 years of the marriage have overlapped at least 20 years of military service.
What does the 20/20/20 standard entitle a person to after a divorce?
If a person meets the 20/20/20 standard, he or she will be able to continue using the commissary or exchange after the divorce. He or she will continue to receive TRICARE and will be able to take advantage of the theater privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. If he or she remarries, he or she will not be entitled to any of these benefits.
How is the 20/20/15 standard different?
If a couple was married at least 20 years, the service member served at least 20 years, but only 15 of the marriage and service years overlapped, the former spouse would qualify for reduced privileges after the divorce. He or she wouldn't get any commissary or exchange privileges and he or she wouldn't be able to use any MWR services; however, he or she could qualify for one year of TRICARE medical coverage.
There are several things to think of when you are going through a military divorce. Learning all the ways the divorce will affect you is vital.
Source: Military OneSource, "Rights and Benefits of Divorced Spouses in the Military," accessed Dec. 03, 2015